Christmas is a magical time when all the wishes come true and people get together. Also, it is a time when marketers worldwide unleash all of their creative potentials to make amazing ads. So here we are celebrating the best Christmas ads out there.
Why is Christmas so special for every business? Of course, it is a favorite holiday for many but money-wise it is during the holiday season that the people are most likely to buy presents for their loved ones. And there’s a fierce competition to put your product in front, to make it stand out of the rest and to ultimately make a consumer associate their Christmas mood with what you’re offering. And that’s no easy thing to do in the modern world of the virtually unlimited proposition.
Some companies do it better than others. That’s why we decided to make this list of the most charming Christmas ads of 2019: to honor the best, to learn and be inspired by their cases. Because we believe that creativity should be talked about and it should be celebrated. And this year we’ve seen plenty of top-notch Christmas marketing that could easily make hearts melt. So let’s get right into it, shall we?
1. John Lewis Christmas advert 2019
Can there really be any Christmas ads list without John Lewis? Their 2019 entry proves that the answer is still no. Heartwarming, tear-jerking and insanely cute, the British retailer giant’s video has done it again by introducing us to clumsy dragon Edgar that is excited about Christmas but can’t control his fire-breathing abilities.
The story of his friendship with a little girl Ava, the cinematography and touching “Can’t Fight This Feeling” tribute from Bastille’s Dan Smith create beautiful advertising that works not only because it’s flawlessly done but also because it is, in fact, a part of the Christmas culture. And that’s something very hard to achieve in the advertising world.
2. Wunder’s “White Christmas”
Sometimes less is more as they say. But sometimes nothing at all is even more. Canadian creative agency Wunder based in Halifax proved that leading their “White Christmas” advertising campaign this year. Basically, what they did was buying the expensive spaces around the city and filling them with… white blank paper.
“As a creative agency we typically spend our time creating ads and promoting brands, but this year we’ve decided to do the opposite and give everyone a break from ads during the holiday season,” said creative director Stephen Flynn to It’s Nice That. If that ain’t genius marketing, we don’t know what is.
3. NAMI’s “Naughty or Nice”
Usually, the Christmas ads would be about a business or a product. But the latest NAMI’s commercial is something unlike anything we’ve seen and something truly powerful. There’s Santa, sure, there’s Christmas too but the message is completely different. We see St. Nick sitting on a rooftop doubting the whole “Naughty or Nice” paradigm of giving presents to the children and going through a process of analyzing the potential harm he might have done labeling children over the years.
“50% of mental health conditions begin by age 14” is written in the description of the video and the message is “Look for signs, not labels”. Poignant and on-point, this David Shane-directed commercial is among our favorites from 2019.
4. 7-Eleven’s “The Sweeter Christmas Sweater“
Swedes love their saffron buns. 7-Eleven loves selling them. Christmas is the time when they are the tastiest. So why not create a sweater that would detect when the Christmas spirit is lower and then provide a discount on the saffron buns, right? At least that’s what the Stockholm-based Åkestam Holst thought and they actually did that. And we’re loving it, that’s some high-tech super creative marketing right there.
The sweater in question is an adorable holiday piece of clothing with a saffron bun and a computer technology that analyzes the “Christmas mood” level. Mind – blown.
5. OREO’s “First Christmas”
This one is short but sweet. Not the kind that moves mountains with the creative efforts but heartwarming enough to make you love Christmas, instantly feel the spirit and, what’s most important on the marketing side of things, to quickly get yourself some OREO.
There’s a convenience store at the gas station in the middle of snowy nowhere and there’s an elf that doesn’t know how to eat Oreo cookies properly. Shop’s employee gives the elf a lesson and they enjoy some friendly time fooling around the store just to be interrupted by the honking. There’s Santa waiting outside and elf invites his new friend along.
Isn’t it a charming Christmas story? We bet it is.
6. NBA’s “Ballin’ in a Christmas Wonderland”
“Who ever edited this needs a raise” that top YouTube comment from the user with a name King Alpha sums up our feelings about the latest holiday ad from NBA. Because there’s nothing here but a very clever and amusing Christmas make-over of the existing footage taken from the various games and featuring beloved athletes in their best holiday spirit. The ball is turned into a snowball. There are Christmas trees around the pitch.
It’s refreshing to see how the NBA while being a sports business giant still finds time to embrace the YouTube culture and playfully uses it to craft such a funny video.
7. Aldi’s “Kevin the Carrot Christmas advert“
By the order of the Leafy Blinders? This year the budget retailer has placed itself very very firmly into the game of the festive advertising with a new rendition of the adventures of their beloved Kevin the Carrot character. Also, Aldi showed others how to use the pop culture references to its own benefit adding Birmingham accents and Shelby hats to the gang of the brussels sprouts, throwing out a The Greatest Showman-themed party of the veggies and using a holiday version of Robbie Williams’ Let Me Entertain You.
Are we entertained? Most certainly.
8. ASDA’s “Let’s Make Christmas Extra Special“
Sometimes all it takes for a charming Christmas ad is telling a good story. That’s exactly what ASDA opted for with its 2019 advert. They’ve produced a visually rich two-minute short about siblings, Tilly and Jack. In a magical round of events, Tilly collects a piece of Christmas spirit from the Northern Lights and transforms the surroundings bringing joy and happiness. Isn’t it adorable? We would say yes.
From a marketing standpoint, there’s nothing about ASDA in the video. It’s all about good feelings and a festive atmosphere. And that always pays off.
9. Microsoft’s “Holiday Magic: Lucy & the Reindeer“
One of the most charming Christmas ads this year comes from none other than Microsoft. It has it all: the atmosphere, the humor, the product showcase, the likability. And most importantly it has the reindeers as well as a little girl who tries to communicate with them using Microsoft’s translating technology.
Watch the video to find out how things unfold (spoiler alert: reindeer language translation is still in the works). Nevertheless, the ad is a joy to witness on many levels.
10. Tesco’s “Delivering Christmas“
You know the ad is good when after a mere 1:30 minutes of watching you feel like you’ve just finished a short movie. Tesco’s holiday entry this year is a brilliantly made excursion into the hundred years of British history seen from the perspective of a retailer’s time-traveling delivery driver.
We can’t salute enough for an awesome premise and a great execution, the video not only checks all the right pop culture boxes but doesn’t fail to create a holiday atmosphere too.
11. Spotify’s “It’s Officially Christmas“
Sometimes all you need for a good holiday ad is Mariah Carey. As simple as that. And Spotify didn’t miss the chance to have one of the biggest pop singers ever in their advert. Because when you’re a streaming colossus you actually can do that. And here it is, a charming 1-minute celebration of Carey, Christmas and of her song that for many has become synonymous to the holiday itself. Basically, it’s just a playlist announcement but what playlist announcement this is.
All we need for Christmas is having more charming festive ads like this for sure.
12. Sky’s “E.T. Came Home For Christmas“
Sky has done something meta for their holiday ad this season. In a piece of cinematic advertising royalty, the company imagined how it would be if the adorable alien from Spielberg-directed E.T. reconnected with Elliot. And it’s one thing if the whole venture was based on movies but the advert features Henry Thomas, the actor who played Elliot in the original movie. And that is something of a grandiose scale that Sky has done, it has basically filmed the continuation of the story. It’s like doing an ad that reimagines how Harry Potter’s life would be after Hogwarts with Daniel Radcliffe starring.
This audacity makes Sky’s Christmas efforts truly next level.
13. Hafod Software’s “Be A Kid This Christmas“
At times the most effective and impressive ads come from unexpected places. How about a brick-and-mortar store in Rhayader, Wales for example? Who would have thought that a small locally owned business would score big with their ad that reportedly cost something more than 100$ to produce. But that’s what they did with a touching story about a kid. It’s very simple but the simplicity here melts hearts and instantly sets the right mood.
Also, it has 2.5M views on YouTube right now becoming something of an internet phenomenon. Because we favor the underdogs and this Welsh shop has done a great job this Christmas season.
14. Pepsi’s “A Cardi Carol“
Not many Christmas adverts would have phrases like “Twerk Shop” and “Make it Rain Dear” this season. Pepsi’s has.
Another thing it has is Cardi B and this combination makes for a perfect youth-oriented commercial that stands out. The beverage company chose not to opt for a traditional “magical” way to tell Christmas story in their ad and focus on the playfulness instead. And that is a fresh and creative take that we love.
15. Frito-Lay Anthem
Anna Kendrick singing a holiday-transformed version of Julia Andrews’ My Favorite Things in this entry from Frito-Lay is simply irresistible. It is the good old ad jingle that sticks in your head and refuses to go away (which is a good thing for us marketers, right?). And its message is very fitting for Christmas: share your favorite things.